Boys Basketball: St. Rita gets past Hales
By Tony Baranek email@example.com January 31, 2014 10:12PM
Chicago, 1/31/14 -- Hales Franciscan's Eddie Miles (23) has a hard time going to the basket against St. Rita's Myles Carter (left) and Victor Law, (5). | Vincent D. Johnson~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 3, 2014 5:38PM
St. Rita’s Dominique Matthews takes his role as a senior leader seriously.
The Mustangs needed it even more than usual in Friday night’s 65-56 Catholic League South victory over visiting Hales.
With two starters having fouled out late in the fourth quarter and Hales having sliced a 12-point deficit down to four, Matthews, a 6-foot-2 guard answered with four consecutive baskets to help the Mustangs prevail.
“They’re a scrappy team. They played really good defense,” Matthews said of the Spartans. “We had to handle the pressure, and we stepped up at the end.”
Matthews finished with 27 points, while Charles Matthews added 14 points and Victor Law 13 points and 22 rebounds for St. Rita (9-6, 5-1).
Joseph Larry had 16 points and Dominic Christian 10 for Hales (11-8, 6-2).
It was a game in which St. Rita dominated on the boards (47-29) and hit more free throws (19-13), but couldn’t put away the Spartans.
Hales at first attacked the 1-3-1 zone challenge of a 6-8, 6-7 and 6-6 mountain, only to have virtually every drive to the basket swatted away.
St. Rita totaled 11 blocks.
More often than not, the Spartans went to the perimeter. They weren’t wildly successful (7-of-29), but hit enough to prevent St. Rita from expanding on what hovered between a five- and 10-point advantage.
“We don’t usually shoot that many threes,” Hales coach Gary London said. “Their zone kind of forced our guys to settle for a lot of shots, and we just weren’t successful.
“But we’ve done what we’ve done all year (defensively). Our pressure keeps us in games, and it’s won a lot of games for us.”
Hales found its greatest success over the final four minutes of the game, scoring on six consecutive possessions.
St. Rita, meanwhile, saw 6-7 rebounding machine Law foul out, along with point guard Treston Forbes.
The Mustangs still answered Hales, however, scoring on their final six chances. After Matthews’ late blitz, Armani Chaney made sure the door was shut by hitting 3-of-4 free throws in the final 27 seconds.